whole spelt flour

raspberry quinoa muffins with an almond crumb (vegan)

30th April 2017

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This garden breathes beautifully of our time here……

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and deeply grateful for the gifts it has given……

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raspberry quinoa muffins with an almond crumb

Makes 10 muffins.

A recipe I make often based on this Plum Millet Cake, the sweet almond crumb adds a delicious crunchy texture which contrasts nicely with the sourness of the raspberries. These muffins are tender, fragrant and light. The maple syrup can be replaced with ½ cup brown sugar plus ¼ cup/50g almond milk.

I made my own muffin liners by tearing up  12 x 12 cm square pieces of baking paper and pressing them down into the tray – if you grease the tin beforehand the liners behave nicely. If you don’t have a muffin tin, this recipe can also be made as a cake, may need to increase the baking time.

for the quinoa

¼ cup/50g quinoa

½ cup/125ml water

for the almond crumb

½ cup/45g flaked almonds

2 Tbsp/25g brown sugar/coconut sugar

2 Tbsp/45g maple syrup

for the cake

1½ cup/210g whole-spelt flour

1 Tbsp aluminium-free baking powder

¾ cup/220g maple syrup

 cup/65g mild-tasting olive/coconut oil

¼ cup/50g almond milk

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

zest of 1 lemon

¼ tsp fine rock salt

150g frozen/fresh raspberries

cook the quinoa

1.  Rinse and drain the quinoa, place in a pan, add water, and bring to a boil; then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, uncovered, until the water has evaporated. Turn off the heat; cover and let sit for 10 minutes, then measure out 1 cup/130g cooked quinoa – set aside.

2.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and fill a muffin tray with 10 liners.

prepare the almond crumb

3.  In a small bowl place the flaked almonds, sugar and maple syrup, stir to combine – set aside.

prepare the cake

4.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; set aside.

5.  In a medium jug, whisk together the maple syrup, oil, almond milk, vanilla, lemon zest, salt and cooked quinoa.

6.  Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients, and using a rubber spatula, stir until well combined, then gently fold in the raspberries – be careful not to over-mix.

7.  Scoop the batter into muffin cups, filling them all the way to the top using a spoon or an ice cream scoop.  Spoon a teaspoon of the almond crumb on top of each muffin.

8.  Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until golden or a toothpick comes out clean. Take the muffins out of the tin and place them on a wire rack to cool.

Serve with a generous dollop of Greek yoghurt.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

amaranth-sunflower-spelt bread

24th May 2016

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Treasured gifts.

Divine teachings.

An Ocean of Gratitude.

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thank-you Kristin

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This recipe was introduced to me by Gillian.  She made it one night accompanied with a delicious beetroot borsch and a green salad.

A wonderful bread to go with a simple soup for a no-fuss dinner.  I love eating this bread the next day, with a thick spread of salted butter and a dollop of home-made jam/a drizzle of honey. Feels like a perfect balance between a bread and a cake.

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amaranth-sunflower-spelt bread

6 – 8 servings

Recipe slightly adapted from ‘Angelica’s Kitchen’.

She goes on to say, ‘ This is a highly nutritious bread that cries out for a leguminous accompaniment. Try cutting it into thick wedges and serving it alongside your favourite bean dish or soup. It can also be cooked in a cast-iron skillet, bringing it straight to the table and served piping hot.  The bread has a satisfying, complex texture in part because some of the sunflower seeds are mixed into the batter while others are sprinkled on top.’

For a savoury addition, add some sautéed fennel rounds or chopped olives and a sprinkling of rosemary on top of the bread before baking.

I like this bread with more sweetness, so I added extra maple syrup to the recipe.  If wanting it less sweet as in the original recipe, use only 1 Tablespoon of Maple syrup and increase the milk to 1 cup.

for the amaranth

1 cup water

½ cup/100g amaranth

¼ tsp fine rock salt

for the bread

½ cup/65g sunflower seeds – divided

1½ cups/200g whole-spelt flour

½ cup/70g medium ground cornmeal (can use polenta)

1½ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp baking soda

½ tsp fine rock salt

¾ cup/165g unsweetened almond milk

¼ cup/45g olive oil (mild tasting)

3 Tbsp/30g apple cider vinegar

¼ cup/70g maple syrup

to cook the amaranth

1.  Place the water and salt in a small saucepan, bring to boil, then add amaranth, lower flame, and cover – simmer for 35 – 45 minutes or until the water has absorbed.  Set aside and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  It will be sticky and wet.

to make the bread

2.  Preheat oven to 350F/180C.  Lightly oil a 9-inch square pan or a round skillet.

3.  Spread the sunflower seeds on a baking sheet and toast for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

4.  In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ¼ cup sunflower seeds.

5.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and cooked amaranth.

6.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients together – mix thoroughly, but do not over-mix.  The batter will be thick, but pourable.

7.  Pour the batter into the pan/skillet and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup sunflower seeds. (I also like to add a sprinkle of sesame seeds.)

8.  Bake for 45 – 55 minutes till golden, or when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

plum millet cake (vegan)

16th July 2015

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I know when we have entered into Summer, as each morning I can pick the first of the Jasmine to place on our altar  – just one perfect flower, but Wow!  Such a scent.

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Jasminum spp

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Using the last of our plums from this tree and sharing them with our friends, neighbours, visiting teachers, and our growing ducklings and swans.

plum millet cake

Makes one 9-inch square pan with 12 square slices.

Recipe slightly adapted from ‘At Home in the Wholefood Kitchen’.

I have been making this with raspberries instead of plums.  I use 150 grams frozen/fresh raspberries, following the recipe below, sprinkle the top with flaked almonds and 2 Tablespoons of coconut sugar. 

for the millet

¼ cup/50g millet, washed and soaked (if you forget to soak the millet, add 2 Tablespoons extra water).

½ cup/125ml water

for the cake

1½ cup/210g whole-spelt flour

1 Tbsp aluminium-free baking powder

zest of 1 lemon

zest of 1 orange

¾ cup/185ml plus 2 Tbsp maple syrup (maple syrup can be replaced with ½ cup sugar)

¼ cup + 2 Tbsp/90ml extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, melted 

¼ cup/60ml almond milk

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp fine rock salt

8small plums /340g, pitted and cut into ½-inch slices – If using very juicy plums, allow to drain off the excess liquid for 5 minutes.

for the topping

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)

to cook the millet

1.  Drain and rinse millet, place in a small pot and pour in ½ cup water.  Bring to a boil over high heat; cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat; let sit for 10 minutes before removing the lid and fluffing up with a fork.  You should have approximately 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cooked millet.

2.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.  Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with oil or for easy removal, line with baking paper.

to prepare the cake

3.  Place the flour and baking powder into a medium bowl; stir to combine and set aside.

4.  In another bowl, combine the maple syrup, olive oil, almond milk, vanilla and salt.

5.  Add the flour mixture, and using a rubber spatula, stir until combined, then fold in the plums, cooked millet and citrus zest, stirring until just combined – be careful not to over-mix.

6.  Pour the batter into the baking pan.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, remaining 2 tablespoons of millet and the brown sugar.

7.  Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

sesame crusted brown rice spelt bread

12th April 2015

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“Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself……” ~Paramahansa Yogananda

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angels & wings – Jaffa, Israel

getting ready to fly into the unknown.  Again…..

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sesame crusted brown rice spelt bread

Since discovering this bread, I have been making it often.  It is quite special in the fact that it doesn’t feel heavy to digest and it has a slight sourdough taste.  The original recipe uses brown rice and sweet rice.  As I didn’t have sweet rice, I used amaranth which has a sweet and nutty flavour and has the same sticky quality as sweet rice when cooked.  

‘ The dough needs to ferment at room temperature for 14 hours.  I like to make the mixture at 5 p.m., then continue the process at 7 a.m., and enjoy the bread by 10 a.m.  The recipe is pretty forgiving, so don’t worry if you’re slightly off with the timing.’ –  Amy Chaplin.

Recipe from At home in the Whole Food Kitchen.

Makes one 12-inch loaf (the longer loaf pan creates a less crumbly loaf when slicing)

ingredients 

2½ cups/300g whole-spelt flour or sprouted spelt flour

½ cup/135g organic cornmeal (can use polenta)

½ tsp instant yeast

1½ tsp fine Himalayan salt

1½ cups warm filtered water

1 tsp unrefined sesame oil or coconut oil, for oiling the bread pan

2 cups cooked round brown rice and amaranth (raw measures: ½ cup/100g brown rice and ¼ cup/50g amaranth, preferably soaked overnight.)

¼ cup/35g unhulled sesame seeds – divided

ferment the bread 

1.  Combine spelt flour, cornmeal, yeast, and salt in a medium bowl.  Add water and mix until combined. The dough will be sticky and quite wet.

2.  Cover bowl with a plastic bag secured with a rubber band, or plastic wrap, and allow to sit at room temperature (70F/21C) for 14 hours.

cook the rice and amaranth 

3.  Place the rinsed, soaked brown rice and amaranth in a small saucepan with 1½ cups water (add 4 more tablespoons of water if it has not been soaked overnight) and simmer covered until cooked. Set aside to cool completely.

assemble the bread 
4.  Brush loaf pan with oil and remove plastic from the bowl (save it for covering the bread again), measure 2 cups cooked brown rice and amaranth, and add half the sesame seeds to the dough, then with your hands, mix together the rice and seeds.

5.  Sprinkle some of the left-over seeds into the loaf pan, they should stick to the sides and bottom. Leave some for sprinkling over the top.

6.  Place the dough in the oiled pan and press lightly to distribute evenly.  Sprinkle the top with remaining sesame seeds and cover with the reserved plastic wrap.  Place in a draft-free place to rise for 1 hour.

bake the bread 

7.  Pre-heat oven to 350F/180C.

8.  Bake bread for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a crust has formed and bread sounds hollow when tapped.   Allow to cool, then remove bread from pan.

This bread is simply delicious with a good quality olive oil, a sprinkling of salt, a few rounds of freshly ground pepper and spring greens, compliments from the garden!  Enjoy with your loved ones.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

easy vegan pancakes

3rd November 2014

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I woke to the sound of rain this morning and birdsong…..

 

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and the morning grew brighter and lighter from there…

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easy vegan pancakes

Serves 10 – 12 medium pancakes.

If you are using frozen blueberries and you don’t like the bleeding of the fruit, pour the batter into the skillet first and then top with berries. These pancakes can be made plain without the addition of blueberries or replaced with chopped banana, raspberries, steamed apple, or whatever fruit is in season.  

I like my pancakes sweet, but if you prefer less or no sweetener, just replace the maple syrup with more nut milk.  If the batter is too thick or you prefer thinner pancakes, simply thin it out with a little more almond milk.

ingredients 

¾ cup/100g whole-spelt flour

¾ cup/100g white spelt flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp cinnamon powder

1 cup/225g almond milk

1 heaped Tbsp coconut oil, melted

cup/100g maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup/100g fresh/frozen blueberries

preparation 

1.  Place in a large bowl the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond milk, syrup, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract, then pour into the dry ingredients and whisk the batter until no lumps remain.

3.  Fold the blueberries into the batter.

4.  Preheat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  A drop of water should sizzle on the pan when it’s ready.  Lightly grease and scoop a spoonful (¼ cup) onto the skillet. The batter should spread by itself into a circle, otherwise, help it gently along with the back of a spoon. Cook until some bubbles appear and the edge looks deeper in colour and firmer.

5.  Flip and cook for another couple of minutes until golden.  Adjust the heat as needed.  Repeat for the other pancakes.  Lightly brush the skillet with oil before each pancake is cooked.

Stack and serve with coconut whipped cream, more fresh blueberries or simply with pure maple syrup.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

a dog, a story and a date biscuit slice (vegan version)

1st February 2014

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January always seems a time of simplifying and focusing my energies, cleaning up and organising our living space.  Refreshing everything, developing new rhythms or putting back into place the old ones that have slipped by, getting rid of that old energy and allowing space for the new.  So apart from re-organising my workspace, I decided to try to make this favourite sweet vegan.

These are a favourite in our house, especially for me, as they bring back a lot of childhood memories

scroll down to the story

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date biscuit slice

ingredients 

½ cup coconut oil

¼ cup molasses/date syrup

1 Tbsp vanilla essence

2 Tbsp water

1 cup/120g whole-spelt flour

1 cup/80g desiccated coconut

1 cup/170g pitted dates, chopped into small pieces

¼ cup finely chopped walnuts, pecans or sunflowers seeds

1 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp cocoa powder

for the icing

1 cup/140g sugar powder/icing sugar

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

extra desiccated coconut for sprinkling on top

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.  Grease a rectangular 21cm x 29cm tray.

2.  Melt the coconut, add the molasses, vanilla essence and water – set aside.

3.  In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, coconut, dates, walnuts, baking powder and cocoa powder – mix well, then add the wet ingredients  – combining well.

4.  Spread evenly with the back of a spoon into the tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden – set aside to cool.

5.  Make the icing – Mix the icing sugar and cocoa powder together with just a few teaspoons of water.  You do not want the icing too watery, but not so thick that it will not spread. Spread the icing over the slice and sprinkle with coconut, then cut into squares.

These photos came about because I needed a photo for this post and my daughter Yasmin needed a photo for her essay she was writing for school about our dog Inbar.  I thought you might enjoy her essay.  It is very touching and beautifully written.

inbar by Yasmin fisher

At home, I  have a dog.  Her name is Inbar.  She’s very old now.

People always ask how old she is and my father always gives the same answer;  “She’s the same age as Yasmin.”

Maybe that’s the reason I have such a close relationship with her because we were born in the same year and basically grew up together.

I was born in Israel, to parents who at the time were very interested in Yoga and a 7-month-old baby (me) did not stop them driving to a yoga retreat in the north of Israel.  As we were approaching the retreat centre located in the hills by the sea of Galilee, my father got lost and as customary for men, he refused to ask for directions!  Driving around in the car, my mother explained that she was not feeling too well and wanted to stop to get something out of the boot.  When they stopped my mother got out of the car and suddenly heard this strange noise coming from the bushes.  It was dark and Israel is known for having poisonous snakes but it turned out to be this small scared puppy.  My mother could not resist and picked it up.  Only in the car, my mother could see that this puppy was unhealthy and clearly abandoned.

My parents decided to take the puppy with them and named her Inbar after the village where the yoga retreat took place.  My parents feed her and took care of her.  As my parents tell me,  it was obvious that Inbar had been abused because she refused to enter the house.  My father tells the story that a few days after finding Inbar I took my first steps.  However, as soon as I went outside Inbar would be so excited to see me that she would knock me over.  It was not long before Inbar stopped knocking me over and started looking after me…

As I grew older Inbar took more and more care of me.  Whether it was from another dog, person, or even if I just got lost in our village and forgot my way back home.  One day I was walking to my friend’s place and as usual, Inbar came with me, a dog catcher drove by and saw that Inbar was not on a leash as required by law.  In Israel, it is very common for dogs to be taken away and if the owner would not come to claim the dog, the dog would be “put to sleep.”  It was traumatizing to see that Inbar had been taken away despite my protest and crying.  For the first time, I realised I needed to take care of Inbar too.

Inbar was always a part of the important things in my life.  She is part of our family.  When my parents told me we were moving to Portugal it was never a question if we were to take her with us, even though she was very old.  It was a difficult journey but she liked all the attention and was so happy when we arrived.

And now, since arriving in Portugal.  I am the one that looks after her and gives her medication daily, and I make sure she gets attention.

Out of respect for her age and due to the colder winter here, Inbar has become an indoor dog.  She sleeps inside next to the hallway and since my room is closest, she comes into my room in the middle of the night if she wants to go outside.

It is clear to me that Inbar is on her “last legs” and that she will not live much longer.  When I think about her I can only think about how thankful I am to have shared my childhood with this kind and devoted animal.  Through my childhood with Inbar, I have learnt that life is a circle of giving and taking.  It is ironic how so much good came out of Inbar’s unlucky beginning.

Gillian’s chocolate chip nut butter cookies (vegan)

19th June 2012

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One month ago we had the honour of hosting our teacher from India and his wife in our home. It makes me so very happy and so appreciative that we were given this opportunity. Such an honour to wake up and have your teacher sitting in your garden and to have the blessing of being in his presence every day, hearing his divine wisdom and sitting twice daily for meditation in his presence.

We also had our dear friends travel from America and India to join in the seminar and stay with us in our home.  It was wonderful. Three women and three amazing cooks! The meals were outstanding. It was so nice to be held and to be surrounded on a daily basis by like-minded souls, in light, creativity, fun, encouragement and support, in love and inspiration….and also to see us all expand into our yogic journey.


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IMG_3009_ACHARYA_yaelilan_LowResImages by Yael Ilan

These cookies were a part of those two weeks. Gillian would whip them up in a matter of minutes whenever we needed a sweet to go with our tea.  I have made these many times since they all have left. This is my version of them.

With this supportive experience and the upcoming move to Portugal, it was a wonderful way to say goodbye to Israel and our beautiful home.

Change is on the horizon…..so much of it too….just thinking of it makes my head spin.

chocolate chip nut butter cookies

Preparation – 20 minutes

Makes about 18 sumptuous cookies.

Gillian’s recipe used rice flour, instead of the spelt.  Any gluten-free flour should substitute.  If you prefer a chewy cookie, take the cookies from the oven at 12 minutes.

If you prefer to omit the chocolate, small currants or raisins work nicely. Soak them beforehand. I like to use a combination of peanut and almond butter, and recently I have been making these with a flour ratio of ½ cup ground almond/pecan, ½ cup whole-wheat spelt, ½ cup oat flour. Make the oat flour by putting whole oats into your blender, grind on high until you get a flour-like consistency.

ingredients 

¾ cup/90g whole spelt flour

¾ cup/75g oat flour

¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp rock salt

¼ cup/60ml peanut/almond butter of choice (I like to use 2 Tbsp of each)

cup/80ml maple syrup

¼ cup/60ml coconut oil (warmed to a liquid)

1 tsp vanilla extract

 cup/50g dark chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar, chopped

cup/50g roughly chopped hazelnuts or flaked almonds

preparation 

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking soda and salt – set aside.

3.  In a separate bowl, combine the nut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla – mix through evenly, then fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.

4.  Pour the wet into the dry ingredients, and fold them together until well combined.

5.  Using your hands, mould the biscuits into small balls onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.

6.  Press down lightly on each cookie with the back of a fork or with your fingers and bake for 12 – 15 minutes.  Do not over-bake or they will be dry.

7.  Allow the cookies to cool and transfer to a cooling rack.

You may need to double the recipe next time as they go really, really quickly!!

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Goodness shared from Stacey

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